In another dramatic day during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel has been cross-examining defence expert Roger Dixon, who has been called to contradict part of the evidence of the prosecution’s ballistics expert and state pathologist.
Gerrie Nel [to Dixon]: Mr Dixon. What do you consider to be your field of expertise?
Roger Dixon [puffs out chest]: I am fully qualified in my field, sir.
Nel: Which is?
Dixon: Forensic geology.
Nel [looks at Judge Masipa, turns towards the public gallery and smirks. Then addresses Dixon]: I’m sorry, Mr Dixon? Could you repeat that for the benefit of the cameras, please.
Dixon: I am, sir, a forensic geologist.
Nel [starts to look around him, feigning concern]: Can you feel that, Mr Dixon?
Dixon [looking puzzled]: Feel what?
Nel: You call yourself an expert geologist and you don’t even realise that you are on shaky ground, and it’s just about to give way?? [titters from the public gallery]
Dixon: I’m not sure what you mean, sir.
Nel: Oh, I am sure you will, Mr Dixon. You are [long pause, removes glasses]……a ‘forensic geologist’?
Nel: Then I put it to you, Mr Dixon, that you are totally unqualified to be giving evidence in my court.
Dixon [bottom lip starting to quiver, turning paler, small beads of sweat starting to appear on his forehead]: But, but………..
Nel: Can you show the court proof that you have any place to be giving evidence here, Dixon?
Dixon [shaking, reaches into brief case and pulls out several academic certificates before handing them to Nel].
Nel [leafs through certificates]. Ha! [turns to Judge Masipa]. My Lady, I am ordering you to strike this man’s evidence from the court record. He is quite clearly a fraud, and my court is unable to hear from him.
Judge Masipa: Obviously I will do everything you ask, Mr Nel, but for the benefit of the court record, I wonder whether you can just explain why you consider Mr Dixon to be unable to give evidence.
Nel: Because, M’Lady [pausing for effect]……Mr Dixon does not, and cannot, produce evidence of the only qualification that counts in this court…….his Equity Card!!
[Public gallery stands to its feet to a man and breaks into rapturous applause, as Dixon slumps in the witness box, and Oscar Pistorius quickly grabs his plastic bucket. End of Act 4 Scene 10]